Spicy Lamb Burgers with Grilled Eggplant

Spicy Lamb Burgers with Grilled Eggplant
Staff Writer
Lamb burgers
Christopher Hirsheimer

Lamb burgers

These pan-Mediterranean lamb burgers are spicy and fragrant. If you have a nice butcher, get him to grind the lamb for you. I like to use ground shoulder for these burgers.

See all eggplant recipes.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ground lamb shoulder
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped marjoram
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 large eggplants, sliced into ½-inch-thick circles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions

To make the burgers, mix the lamb and all the remaining ingredients through the red pepper flakes together well. Chill for several hours. (You can season the lamb a day ahead and refrigerate overnight.)

When you’re ready to serve, prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Paint the eggplant slices with the olive oil and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the slices over hot coals for about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a large serving platter.

Divide the seasoned meat into 24 portions. Form each into a sausage shape about 4 inches long, and insert a slender skewer into each one. Or form patties and cook them like burgers. Grill over hot coals, turning once, about 3 minutes per side, so the lamb stays juicy.

Put the lamb burgers over the eggplant slices on the platter and serve.

Spicy Lamb Burger Shopping Tip

Look for meat that is bright red. Red meat turns paler as the hemoglobin within releases oxygen – a sign that the meat has been sitting too long at the butcher's counter.

Spicy Lamb Burger Cooking Tip

When browning meat, resist the urge to move the meat – you must allow a flavorful crust to form over high heat. Once it has formed, the meat should slide freely with the shake of a pan.